Shalom Hebrew and Israelite Wives!
I have a quick question:
Do you truly know how to cleave to your husband?
In terms of modernity, I can say for a fact we lack the collective understanding and application of the true ‘cleave’ as outlined in The Holy Scripture.
Therefore, shall an ish leave his abba and his ama, and cleave unto his isha, and they shall be basar echad (one flesh).Genesis 2:24
This verse is popular among us Israelite wives, particularly those of us who may have in-laws who are dependent upon our husband. We want to encourage our husband to forsake his parents and everything else he is comfortable with, in exchange for cleaving with us, his wife. But do we know what this means?
Do we know what we’re asking for? Do we know what needs to be sacrificed in order for this to occur? Most importantly, do we know how sacred this ‘cleaving’ is to The Most High Yahuah?
Today’s segment on marriage is all about cleaving: what it means, why it’s important, and a few simple applications.
From The Book of Revelations where the new Jerusalem is called an unblemished virgin prepared for her wedding, to Hosea where we’re called a whorish people who need to repent from fornication, the Scripture is saturated with the theme that we as a people are His Bride and He is Our Husbandman.
It’s the most common theme actually. From cover to cover. From the beginning to the end His plan has been to have a bride to call His own, a perfect companion. Our story is one of great redemption and love. He promised we would be to Him a people, and that He would be to us an Eloah (god). But not only this, YAH makes a very telling promise to us regarding the day of our redemption.
And it shall be in that day, saith YAHUAH, she shall call me Ishi, Mine Husband, and she shall no more call me My Master, Baali. And I shall take away the names of the Baalim from out of her mouth, and no more shall she remember their names.Hosea 2:16-17
What Other Ways Is ‘Cleave’ Used in Scripture?
It’s apparent through Jeremiah 13:11 that YAHUAH wants us to cleave to Him the same way a girdle cleaves to a man’s loins.
In case you may be wondering, a Biblical girdle is the finished product of ‘girding one’s loins’. It’s the way in which a man ties his long garment so that it no longer flows but instead clings to his thighs and waist to protect his loins during work or battle.
A loin as you may already know, is where a man’s seed rest, his future generations. The future of his home, his name, his lineage, and his legacy all lie between his legs, thus we can see how protecting it is an utmost priority.
Why Is Cleaving To Your Husband So Important?
According to the Biblical outline of cleave, it’s defined as sticking to, adhering to, to abide with, being bound together.
The cleave is the actual process of becoming basar echad– one flesh. Without being one flesh, a marriage becomes disorderly because two unique people with separate views and goals cannot agree, have peace, or strive for the same purpose.
Woman was created as a perfect helpmeet. To step into that role, we have to KNOW what our husband needs help with, and be willing to sacrifice for Yahuah’s Glory.
Can two walk together, except they be agreed?Amos 3:3
Since women are called to be subject and submitted to our husbands the same way the Body is called to be submitted to HaMashayach (Christ), then we know that most of the cleaving depends on how well we decide to gird to our husband.
My greatest advice then to unmarried women, is to only marry a man who’s vision you believe in, who’s morals you agree with, and who’s path you feel comfortable following. To marry a man you don’t agree with or are not on one accord with defies Yah’s Word and calling for us as women to be helpmeets.
Would you help someone accomplish something you don’t believe in or see the value of?
When a woman doesn’t trust a man’s vision or choices, then she cannot rest. When femininity cannot be at rest, it attempts to mold the world around it to bend to her will. This causes disorder and dysfunction.
Your ability as a wife to be malleable and submit is important because without so, the marriage will not prevail. It is not man’s divine appointment to be subject to woman, nor is is it woman’s appointment to usurp authority over man.
To resist, rebuke, defy, overrule and turn away from our husbands is rebellion, the total opposite of cleaving.
In order to have a holy matrimony that reflect’s His glory, the act of cleaving to one another is an absolute requirement.
Your Marriage Without Cleaving
A marriage in which cleaving does not exist is full of strife and restlessness.
A man whose loins aren’t girded is a man who cannot feel secure going to work or going into battle. His loins are all over the place, and are susceptible to dirt and vulnerable to harmful blows.
“The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil. She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.” Proverbs 31:11-12
The point of cleaving is to nurture unity, and encourage our men away from spoil– a word used in Scripture to outline stolen goods. In the context of Proverbs 31 verse 11, a man rests with his wife so much that he doesn’t need a spoil, in this case, another man’s wife, since according to the Law, sleeping with another man’s wife is considered an un-repayable theft.
One of the most important needs for men, is the need to feel like a man. To feel autonomous, independent, free, and uncontrolled by the shackles of the world. Masculinity encompasses leadership, integrity, sacrifice, and provision. Men cannot be and do that (or even feel the desire to be and do that) when those who are requesting that of them aren’t willing to please, respect, or appreciate them in return.
Read more about Nurturing Your Husband’s Masculinity.
4 Biblical Ways to Cleave to Your Ish
Us women often have the misconception that our men only want sex to satisfy their uncontrollable urges, and some wives even grunt or resist sex due to the belief that he’s being selfish. While I don’t deny that there are selfish lovers out there and your husband may potentially be one of them, men aren’t wired to desire sex just for the purpose of release.
Men desire sex as a means of bonding with their wife, of connecting. Just as you desire to be pursued with gifts, romantic dates, and thoughtful surprises in order to feel fulfillment and appreciation, your husband desires undistracted, intimate, playful, and memorable sex in order to feel fulfillment and appreciation.
To deny him of this not only defies the calling of 1 Corinthians 7:3, but it starves your husband and deprives your marriage of much needed bonding.
Cleaving is not just mental and spiritual, but physical also. What’s a better way to cleave physically than to actually unite as one flesh in the bedroom?
When you as a woman can believe your husband has the best intentions, your mind, body and soul can be at ease. When the wife is at ease, the marriage can be peaceful.
Your husband isn’t perfect. I don’t know him, but I know that’s a fact, because no man is perfect– or at the least, no man will fit your idea of perfection.
The idea of cleaving to imperfect beings then is one of hazard, risk, and maybe even a gamble. After all, marriages tend to work out much differently than we anticipate when we first say our vows.
This is why Yah tells us to focus on what is good, what is holy, what is true, what is right, what is pure, and (most importantly in your marriage) what is praiseworthy.
I don’t just mean continually praising your husband with your lips. But your heart should primarily be filled with the emphasis of his praiseworthy attributes instead of being filled with bitterness about his shortcomings.
These tiny seeds can move mountains within your marriage, and help you as a wife grow closer to your husband by watering the good in him instead of focusing on the not so good.
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.Titus 2:3-5
According to Titus 2, blasphemy for a wife is outlined in eight ways.
- Drunkenness, substance abuse, or overindulgence in anything – “Be sober”
- Lack of tenderness and charity – “Love their hsubands”
- Lack of diligent motherhood – “Love their children”
- Too much self-government and extravagance – “Be discreet”— a word meaning delicacy and sensitivity to preferences and privacy [ see that the opposite of ‘showy’ is ‘discreet’ ]
- Wantonness and haughtiness (whorish behavior) – “Be chaste”
- Neglecting duties, tasks, and responsibilities, or prioritizing anything other than your home and marriage – “Be keepers at home“
- Wickedness such as rebellion, stirring trouble, infidelity, immorality, sin, and dishonor – “Be good”
- Disobedience, noncomformity, insubordination, unrest, and defiance – “Be obedient to their own husbands”
Defiance and insubordination to our OWN husband is then an act of blasphemy according to Yah’s plan for wives, and doesn’t open the door for blessings into our marriages.
He tells us that no matter what we do, we should do it with our heart as if we are doing it directly for Yah and not for humans.
If you veiwed your husband’s requests or orders as coming directly from Yah, how much the more you wouldn’t delay.
It’s super easy in this day and age for women to go their own way, especially when we have husbands who lead instead of control us.
But following someone is a choice, just as much as it is your choice to follow people on Instagram or Twitter.
You can cleave to your husband by making the conscious decision to follow him in all things, as we are called to do in Ephesians 5:24.
If you’re presented with the opportunity to travel with your congregation, attend a retreat, have brunch with a girlfriend, be featured on a popular blog, speak in front of hundreds of people, or upgrade a subscription, your mind should first go to, “Let me talk to my husband first.”
These are just a few ideas of small circumstances that we can underestimate, that have the potential to foster and nurture unity within our marriage if we seek order, or foster arguments and regret if we make decisions without his consent or pleasure. From the dinner menu, to our perfume, to the activities you allow your children to engage in– our husbands are supposed to be centered because they are to be the head of their own homes and everything in it, including yourself (and children if you have them).
The grace of a wife delighteth her husband, and her discretion will fat his bones.Ecclesiasticus (The Book of Sirach) 26:13
We see the word discretion again, and it doesn’t just mean privacy. It means tailored to one’s preference. Offer your husband grace with allowing things to be as he would have them (in righteousness), and make it a priority to have the same mind as him. Then, you will delight him and fatten his bones (or make him feel wealthy).
Cleaving to our husband isn’t always easy, and I’ll be the first to admit that. It’s one of the most difficult challenges that wives face, and the biggest trial that the Body of Israel has faced since we were called to be His Bride.
But Yah offers us this blessing in love, not in persecution or oppression. He wants all things to be done in the righteousness of love, not the darkness of fear, regret, vanity, or self-servitude.
If you struggle with cleaving, perhaps this is a great opportunity for you to meditate upon whether you are exercising love.
In the day of our redemption as His Bride, Yah takes out the names of god, lord, and master from our mouths, and promises that we will call Him husband, friend, and lover.
Thus, he doesn’t want slaves. He wants companions.
This goes for your husband. View your cleaving and submission to him as growing in friendship and connection, instead of a burden on your soul. You’ll see his heart change right before your eyes, and he will cleave back to you even harder in return.
I hope you enjoyed this exploration into Biblical cleaving, and that it’ll be fruitful for you moving forward!
If you did, make sure to give it a like, share it with Israelite and believing women alike, and follow The Hebrew Housewife for more thorough and set apart content for the Daughters of Israel.
The next post in this marriage series is “Your Husband’s Playmate: Why and How to Be His Friend”
Until next time, Shloma Tribe!